Letter from Minister Monsef in response to the Progress Report: The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
December 21, 2020
Dear Heidi Illingworth,
Thank you for your correspondence in which you raised your concerns about the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) and the requirement that a committee of Parliament be designated or established to review the CVBR five years after it was enacted.
As you know, my colleague Minister Lametti is responsible for the CVBR and as such, I am forwarding your correspondence to him to respond to your specific questions regarding the CVBR.
Thank you for sharing your progress report which I will read attentively and share with Departmental officials. I appreciate the work you are doing to advocate for victims’ rights. We share your concerns that victims often feel re-victimised under the current system, which is why in the development of the National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence (NAP), we are working closely with Justice Canada and other federal departments, provinces and territories, the criminal justice system, survivors and victims and advocates to better understand gaps in the system and promote best practices.
We have to work together to make fundamental changes to improve the experiences of victims and survivors, with particular consideration to systemic injustices faced by Indigenous, Black, racialized and LGBTQ2 victims and victims with disabilities. We anticipate that an improved justice system response will also improve reporting. We will continue to work with researchers and advocates as well as support programmes for awareness raising, training and trauma informed processes including trauma informed prosecutions. As with the federal strategy to address gender-based violence, the third pillar of the NAP is to enhance the response of the justice systems and we welcome your input throughout.
I want to assure you that we will continue to deliver for the Canadians who are counting on us, to ensure that survivors’ and victims’ rights are respected and needs are heard, and to achieve our long-term goals to end all forms of gender-based violence.
Thank you again for writing.
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality
and Rural Economic Development